August 2022

Infectious disease researchers publish routes to ensure lessons are learned from COVD-19 when using PCR for monkeypox diagnosis

Scientists at the UK’s National Measurement Laboratory (NML) at LGC have published a paper, titled “Monkeypox: another test for PCR”, focusing on how to ensure the PCR diagnosis tests being deployed for monkeypox will be most accurate and that lessons learned on PCR testing from the COVID-19 pandemic are applied to the current epidemic.

Dr Jim Huggett, Science Fellow at the NML, said: “Like the early stages of COVID-19, PCR is the only test that can be rapidly deployed to confirm Monkeypox cases. As these test results are used to identify patients and track the spread of the disease, we should ensure they are as accurate as possible. This will empower those tasked with managing the epidemic by providing them with reliable data, to make decisions.”

NML scientists led the study, collaborating with authors from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Hadassah Medical Center, University College London, and the UK’s National Institutes of Health and Research.

Published in one of Europe’s leading journals on infectious disease, Eurosurveillance, the paper delivers timely advice for clinical laboratories on the importance of standardising monkeypox PCR testing.

The NML is also involved in preparing a Roadmap to Metrology Readiness for Infectious Disease Pandemic Response, in collaboration with the global measurement community and healthcare officials, which aims to set out recommendations for measurement specific interventions that could enable a more rapid response and enhance clinical outcomes in future pandemics.

Read the paper in full here: https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.32.2200497#html_fulltext